Twitch has suspended President Donald Trump’s account from its platform, saying that he violated the streaming service’s policies by engaging in hateful conduct. The suspension is not a full ban, so Trump’s account could return to the site.
In a statement sent to esports consultant Rod “Slasher” Breslau, Twitch noted, “Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch. In line with our policies, President Trump’s channel has been issued a temporary suspension from Twitch for comments made on stream.”
Twitch is the largest streaming platform in the world. Although much of its traffic is for video game livestreaming, Twitch also offers IRL (in real life) streams where people can broadcast events outside of the gaming world. This includes politics. Trump started his official Twitch channel in 2019, which hosted broadcasts of his rallies. When he joined, Twitch noted at the time, “Like anyone else, politicians on Twitch must adhere to our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. We do not make exceptions for political or newsworthy content, and will take action on content reported to us that violates our rules.”
You can find the hateful conduct rules here.
Twitch provided the following examples to GamesBeat for why it took this action:
- 2016 campaign rally, recently rebroadcast on Twitch: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people.”
- Recent Tulsa Rally: “Hey, it’s 1 o’clock in the morning and a very tough, I’ve used the word on occasion, hombre, a very tough hombre is breaking into the window of a young woman whose husband is away as a traveling salesman or whatever he may do. And you call 911 and they say, ‘I’m sorry, this number’s no longer working.’ By the way, you have many cases like that, many, many, many. Whether it’s a young woman, an old woman, a young man, or an old man and you’re sleeping.”
For years, social media and content-sharing sites had taken an off-hands approach to Trump, permitting him to say what he wanted with no consequence. This year, as racial and political tensions increase while Trump’s rhetoric becomes even more inflammatory, many sites are starting to address his misconduct. Twitter has added warnings to his posts that contain falsehoods or speech inciting violence.
Also today, Reddit banned thousands of subreddits including r/The_Donald, a subreddit that would praise the president while harassing others. While Trump had no official relation to the subreddit, it is another sign of social media and other internet companies taking steps to police bad behavior that he encourages and inspires.
We have reached out to The White House for a statement or response and will update this article if we receive one.